COVID-19 Vaccine

Nova Scotians are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as they can, and to receive further doses as soon as they are eligible to ensure maximum protection against COVID-19. Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 vaccination plan has followed a phased approach to bring primary series and additional doses to Nova Scotians.

primary series is an initial series of vaccinations designed to give you protection against a disease. For COVID-19 this is typically two doses, but people with compromised immune systems require a third dose to complete their primary series. Children who receive the Pfizer Infant vaccine will require a three dose primary series, and four doses if they have compromised immune systems.

Additional doses (booster or fall dose) help maintain and lengthen your level of protection, as immunity may decrease over time. Public Health recommends that all eligible Nova Scotians get their fall dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Public Health recommends that Nova Scotians aged 12 years and older who are eligible for the fall dose receive a bivalent vaccine rather than an original mRNA vaccine. While all vaccines provide good protection, a bivalent vaccine is more likely to protect against the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Recommended intervals between doses:

Ages 6 Months – 4 Years

Moderna Infant – 2 dose primary series*
Between doses 1 and 2 - 56 days (8 weeks)

Pfizer Infant – 3 dose primary series*
Between doses 1 and 2 - 56 Days (8 weeks)
Between doses 2 and 3 - 56 Days (8 weeks)

*Children who are moderately to severely immunocompromised will need an additional dose to complete their primary series. Moderna Infant is recommended.

  • If receiving Moderna Infant, the time between the first and second dose is 28 days (4 weeks) and the time between the second and third dose is 56 days (8 weeks).
  • If receiving Pfizer Infant, the time between the first and second dose is 28 days (4 weeks), second and third dose is 28 days (4 weeks), third and fourth dose is 56 Days (8 weeks).

Please note: As the number of primary series doses differs for Pfizer Infant and Moderna Infant, children aged 6 months to 4 years should complete their primary series with the same type of vaccine.

Ages 5-11 years

Between primary series doses (1 and 2*)
56 days (8 weeks)
*Nova Scotians who are moderately to severely immunocompromised will need a third dose of vaccine to complete their primary series. In this case, the time between the first dose and second dose is 28 days (4 weeks) and the time between the second dose and third dose is 56 days (8 weeks).

Between end of primary series and booster
168 days (24 weeks)
120 days (17 weeks) – children who are moderately to severely immunocompromised

Ages 12 Years and Up

Between primary series doses (1 and 2*)
56 days (8 weeks)

*Nova Scotians who are moderately to severely immunocompromised will need a third dose of vaccine to complete their primary series. In this case, the time between the first dose and second dose is 28 days (4 weeks) and the time between the second dose and third dose is 56 days (8 weeks).

Between last dose (booster or primary series) and fall dose
168 days (24 weeks) – Ages 12+
120 days (17 weeks) – People eligible for shortened interval

  • People age 70+
  • People age 12+ who are moderately to severely immunocompromised
  • People age 12+ who are residents of long-term care or senior congregate living settings
  • People age 55+ who are First Nations
  • People age 50+ who are African Nova Scotian
  • People who are pregnant

Book a Vaccination Appointment

Drop-in
Vaccination Clinics

      
What to Expect at a Vaccine Clinic

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources

Find additional COVID-19 resources here.

Frequently asked questions on COVID-19 vaccines

Available Vaccines and Eligibility

In Nova Scotia, anyone aged 6 months and older can receive COVID-19 vaccines for free. Eligibility is determined by age and other factors such as risk for severe COVID-19 disease. Vaccination with mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) is strongly recommended based on the real-world evidence showing that they work well and are safe.

Book your COVID-19 vaccine

Eligibility by Age

6 Months – 4 Years
Primary Series Only – Moderna Infant (Fact sheet) and Pfizer Infant (Fact sheet)

5 – 11
Primary Series and Booster – Pfizer Original (Primary Series Fact Sheet | Booster Fact Sheet)

12 – 17
Primary Series – Pfizer Original (Fact sheet)
Fall Dose – Pfizer Bivalent (Fact sheet)

18+
Primary Series – Moderna and Pfizer Original (Fact sheet)
Fall Dose – Moderna and Pfizer Bivalent recommended (Fact sheet), Moderna and Pfizer Original available.

5 – 29 and Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised Primary Series
People aged 5 to 29 who are moderately to severely immunocompromised may choose to receive the Moderna original vaccine as an alternative to Pfizer Original for their primary series.

Alternative Vaccines for People 18+
People aged 18 years and older are eligible to receive a Novavax COVID-19 vaccine when they are unable or prefer not to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

People aged 18 years and older are eligible to receive a Janssen COVID-19 vaccine when all other COVID-19 vaccines are contraindicated.

Vaccine Eligibility After COVID-19 Recovery

You may have some short-term post-infection immunity, however your immunity decreases as time goes on. Vaccination after infection (also known as hybrid immunity) helps improve the immune response and provides better and longer-lasting protection than infection or vaccination alone.

  • If you had COVID-19 and require your primary series doses, you should wait at least 8 weeks to get the vaccine.
  • If you had COVID-19 and have completed your primary series, you should wait 168 days to get your next dose. Those who are eligible for the shortened interval of 120 days between vaccines should wait 120 days to get their next dose after recovering from COVID-19.

How to access your COVID-19 vaccine proof of vaccination

If you have not received a digital record of your COVID-19 vaccine(s), you can access your COVID-19 proof of vaccination by visiting: novascotia.ca/immunizationrecord

To access your proof of vaccination, you can enter your health card number and an email address OR your health card number and a phone number (mobile or land line).

If you are unable to access your record online, you can call 1-833-797-7772 to request that your proof of vaccination be mailed to you.

Allergies

A confirmed allergy to the COVID-19 vaccines is rare. If your health care provider has questions regarding allergies and COVID-19 vaccines s/he can contact an allergist.

Special populations

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends mRNA COVID-19 vaccines for people who:

  • are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • have autoimmune disorders
  • are immunosuppressed

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) strongly recommends that people who are planning a pregnancy, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, get a complete series of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, plus a booster dose when eligible.

People who are pregnant are eligible for an mRNA booster dose 120 days after completing their primary series. Those who received a booster before becoming pregnant, and are expected to deliver by November 30, 2022, are encouraged to receive a second booster dose before they deliver, at least 120 after their first.

There is growing information on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy. There have not been any unique safety concerns raised about negative health effects from vaccine for pregnant people or their babies. Evidence is showing that antibodies from mRNA COVID-19 vaccines cross the placenta and are present in breast milk after maternal vaccination with mRNA vaccines, which may provide some protection for babies. View more information.

Immunosuppression or immunocompromised status

People who are immunocompromised (have a weak immune system) were not included in the trials testing COVID-19 vaccines. However, immunocompromised people have received Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines during the pandemic. There have not been any unique safety concerns raised about negative health effects from vaccine for immunocompromised people. If you're immunosuppressed from disease or treatment, you may have a reduced immune response to any COVID-19 vaccine.

Recent data suggests that people with an autoimmune condition and normal immune system have a similar response to a COVID-19 vaccine than people without these conditions. There have not been any unique safety concerns raised about negative health effects from vaccine for autoimmune individuals.

Immunosuppression, auto-immune disorders, pregnancy and breastfeeding are not contraindications to COVID-19 immunization.

Medical Contraindications to COVID-19 vaccination

Medical contraindications against COVID-19 vaccines are limited in number, and include:

  • a history of severe allergic reaction (e.g. anaphylaxis) after previous administration of a COVID-19 vaccine using a similar platform (mRNA or viral vector);
  • an allergy to any component of the specific COVID-19 vaccine or its container [polyethylene glycol (PEG) for Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines];
  • a history of major venous and/or arterial thrombosis with thrombocytopenia following vaccination with AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine;
  • a history of capillary leak syndrome (CLS) following vaccination with AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

As a precaution, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends that people who experienced myocarditis and/or pericarditis after a first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) should wait to get their second dose of mRNA vaccine until more information is available.

If you have a history of myocarditis or pericarditis and are still being followed by a doctor for related heart issues, please follow up with your healthcare provider before receiving the vaccine.

Nova Scotians who are concerned about their personal medical history and the available mRNA vaccines should speak with their healthcare provider.